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directed by: Sönke Wortmann
produced by: Bernd Eichinger, Martin Moszkowicz
starring: Heiner Lauterbach, Sandra Speichert, Barbara Rudnik, Axel Milberg, Anya Hoffmann, Sibylle Canonica, Armin Rohde
95 minutes, Dolby SR, based on the novel by Dietrich Schwanitz
The signs look good for the model professor Hanno Hackmann (HEINER LAUTERBACH): the sociologist with a glittering reputation collects academic honors the way others collect stamps and intends, much to the delight of his wife Gabrielle (SIBYLLE CANONICA), to also run as candidate for the post of university rector.
Hackmann now has one thing uppermost in his mind: to concentrate once more on both his professional and private obligations as a university lecturer and loving family man and end his affair with the bubbly female student Babsi (SANDRA SPIECHERT). When Babsi comes into his office, she is beside herself with joy because she has been given the lead in a play in the drama department where she is to play a rape victim. Hanno's desire for a separation makes her more angry than sad, and she masterfully seduces him one last time: wild, passionate and on his desk.
As far as Hanno is concerned, the matter is now over. But fate then takes its course when Babsi carelessly explains during the play rehearsals that her impressive portrayal of the victim of a sexual attack is based on personal experience. Fearing the worst, the head of the drama class, Brigitte Schell (MAREN KROYMANN), is not prepared to give her the role anymore. Babsi flips her lid in anger and disappointment and lands in the psychiatric hospital. In the university's hothouse climate, Babsi's breakdown sets a ball rolling which grows ever bigger into an avalanche heading for Hackmann. The committed Frau Schell immediately goes to see the head of the disciplinary committee, Professor Bernie Weskamp (AXEL MILBERG) - and soon the rumor of sexual harassment is shaking the whole university at its foundations. The scandal comes at just the right moment for Weskamp, who is something of an academic pygmy and blessed with a fatal weakness for awful TV detective series. This sensation could give a real impetus to his mediocre political career. After all, the Senator for Education & Science has already become aware of him following a controversial case where he didn't revoke the doctorate of the senator's illegitimate son. Moreover, the senator's attractive assistant, Rebecca Roth (ANYA HOFFMANN), is a further incentive for Weskamp to make a name for himself in this controversial and headline-grabbing affair. Like a bloodhound, Weskamp sets off on the trail of the alleged criminal, with the feminist Women's Affairs Officer Dr. Wagner (BARBARA RUDNIK) at his side. Conspiratorial meetings take place behind closed office doors, and everyone tries to make their own personal gain out of the scandal gripping the university. Right at the front, the incumbent university rector Schacht (RUDOLF KOWALSKI) and his corrupt entourage.
The net of academic intriguers closes ever tighter around Hackmann. When Weskamp finds witnesses for the "rape", Schacht, sensing that Hackmann could be a potential rival for his post, gleefully declares his opponent fair game for the investigations. The press is handed a story on a plate and comes up with new headlines each day about the "sex professor". The persecution of Hanno sends him ever nearer to the edge of the precipice. Until he makes a decision of serious consequence....